Because the Bible narrates that Israel first encountered its deity YHWH at Sinai after having left Egypt and before entering the land of Canaan, the question of YHWH’s historical origins has long been a topic of inquiry among biblical scholars. The claim of a non-autochthonous origin for a national god is indeed peculiar in terms of the wider ancient Near East, but in the context of the Bible is prominently and repeatedly given expression. So is it possible that a germ of truth lies behind this tradition?
The tendency in modern biblical scholarship has been to assume that the story of YHWH’s southern origins is based on very early tradition, partly because of the distinctive association of Midianites with YHWH worship and the figure Moses, but also because of a few examples of alleged early Hebrew poetry that describe YHWH coming from Edom or Sinai (Jdgs 5:4-5; Deut 33:2; Ps 68:8-9; Hab 3:3-4). During the last half of the 20th century and continuing until today, extra-biblical inscriptions that mention the name YHWH and connect it to the general area of Edom/southern Palestine have gradually taken on a pivotal role in the discussion. They are widely understood to confirm the basic picture that YHWH originated in the southern deserts outside the land of later Israel-Judah.
However, in recent years this standard view has come under strong criticism from a variety of angles, primarily within German language scholarship. This minority perspective argues that recent literary-critical and tradition-historical investigation into the development of exodus and other biblical tradition undercuts notions about their high antiquity, problematizes the interpretation of the extra-biblical evidence mentioned above, and highlights biblical material suggesting that YHWH originated as a fairly conventional Syrian-Canaanite weather god linked to developed agriculture.
With the publication of The Origins of Yahwism (de Gruyter, 2017), edited by J. van Oorschot and M. Witte, the debate is now in full swing and critical views that were earlier accessible only in German are now translated and made available to English speakers. The volume consists of seven articles first published in 2012 in the Berliner Theologischen Zeitschrift, updated and translated for this publication, five additional original essays, and an English translation of J. Tropper’s 2001 Vetus Testamentum article on the origin of the divine name YHWH. The contributions reflect a diverse range of methodologies, disciplinary backgrounds, and research interests from an assortment of European and American scholars, and as one would expect come to different conclusions with regard to YHWH’s geographical and cultural provenance. As an in-depth dive into a relatively narrow topic, I found the work to be enjoying and stimulating to read. Because most of the arguments expressed here have already reached publication in one form or another, many of them in BTZ, this made the quality of dialogue, debate, and cross-referencing among the contributions so much richer and focused. It is fairly easy for readers to compare the arguments and come to their own conclusions about the strengths and weaknesses of the opposing reconstructions.
For some helpful summaries of the individual essays, see the review by Kurtis Peters at Biblical and Early Christian Studies. For critique of Tropper’s theory regarding the role of the absolutive case on Hebrew divine names, see my “The Meaning of asherah in Hebrew Inscriptions” Semitica 59: 189-190. For an interpretation different from Berlejung on the divine iconography of Kuntillet ‘Ajrud, see my “The Identity of the Standing Figures on Pithos A from Kuntillet ʿAjrud: A Reassessment” JANER 16: 121-191.
To acknowledge my sympathies up front, I found the arguments of Pfeiffer, Berner, and Müller in favor of a local origin for YHWH in central Palestine generally more convincing than than those of Smith, Krebernik, Berlejung, Jeremias, and Leuenberger for a southern origin, though in reality I don’t fall precisely into either of these camps. I see YHWH as having an indigenous Palestinian origin, but I don’t exclude that he was worshipped in the south/Edomite sphere of the Araba as well. Identifying YHWH’s provenance is further complicated by the fact that as we meet this deity in the Hebrew Bible he is a bricolage of YHWH and El, suggesting his divine profile may have significantly shifted from monarchic to post-monarchic times, such that for all practical purposes YHWH may not have always been biblical YHWH.
In order to delve into these issues and to explain why I don’t find the southern origin theory plausible, I thought I would respond specifically to Martin Leuenberger’s contribution, since among those who support the theory I consider his presentation the most articulate, comprehensive, and carefully reasoned. He provides a history of the debate and evaluates arguments pro and contra for northern and southern provenances. To summarize, he finds no evidence from the Late Bronze age attesting to YHWH in the north/Canaanite sphere but multiple lines of inscriptional and biblical evidence connecting YHWH to the south/Araba. I will address each of his major points in turn.
No YHWH in proper names and other texts
Apart from one important exception that I will discuss below, it is true that the name YHWH does not appear in second millennium sources from the Levant such as personal names, toponyms, or deity lists. However, it needs to be kept in mind how limited our textual resources are for this period and specifically for the centuries preceding the turn of the millennium. Even in the Amarna correspondence from Canaan the references to native deities from the area where YHWH would later come to prominence are few, focusing on the storm-god Baal or hiding the true identity of the deity under a Sumerogram, e.g. NIN.URTA (Na’aman 1990: 252-54). It is also possible that YHWH in some form was worshipped in the region but was conceptualized as a minor figure subordinate to Baal, which would potentially help explain the dearth of references.
A similar problem relates to the use of Israelite and Judahite toponyms for tracing the history of YHWH. Ziony Zevit lists three possible explanations for the absence of YHWH among theophoric toponyms: “1) All of these names are of sites founded and named prior to the spread of Yahwism in Israel. 2) Yahwism was never particularly widespread in Israel. 3) The name YHWH was purposely not employed in toponyms out of some understanding of propriety” (2001: 595). To this I might add that names other than YHWH were preferred out of cultic/theological convention. By my count the large majority of theophoric toponyms invoke Baal, Baalat, and El. I have elsewhere speculated that in early Israel-Judah Baal was actually an epithet of El, so on this interpretation if YHWH was distinguished from and indeed subordinate to El, then attested toponyms would seem to reflect a preference for the chief god and goddess of the regional pantheon invoked as theophoric element.
A basic flaw in Leuenberger’s analysis of YHWH worship is the confidence he places in divine names as a positive means for tracing a deity’s identity and personhood. From a macro-historical perspective of the ancient Near East, there is no consistent one to one relationship between a particular divine name and a particular divine personality. Over long periods of time a divine personality may be identified with different regular proper names while one and the same divine name may be used to designate discrete personalities or deity types. For example, in early Israel the patron god of this tribal collection appears to have been El, as suggested by the theophoric element in the name. Yet at some point in the history of Judah the patron god of the community came to be known as YHWH (also at Elephantine), who according to the Bible retains many of the features of and occasionally is still called El. Thus, two different proper name usages, but to a large extent a continuation of the same basic divinity (see e.g. Daniel 7:9-14).
So even if we were to grant that the extant corpus of inscriptions was sufficient to conclude that the divine name YHWH was unknown in central Palestine of the second millennium, the forerunner or antecedent to the god later called YHWH may yet have had currency in the land in a somewhat different form or under a different name. This hypothesis is actually far more probable than the notion that a nonnative YHWH was imported into the region and inserted wholesale into the local pantheon. A variety of evidence suggests that for local communities in the ancient Near East the identities and functions of deities in the cult were more stable in the long term than the names that were used to refer to them, e.g. consider the tendency to alter/update divine names to facilitate cultural translation (Smith 2010). On the other hand, YHWH of monarchic Israel-Judah should not be equated with the YHWH of the Hebrew Bible simply because he bears the same name.
Beyond these considerations, I think there is likely one variant of the divine name YHWH attested from the Late Bronze age, that is YW from Ugarit. On a partially preserved tablet from the Baal Cycle El speaks about his choice of Yam in the royal household over Baal Haddu: šm.bny.yw.ilt “The name of my son is yw, O Elat …” (KTU 1.1 IV,14). The next line makes clear that Yam is the object of El’s speech and in lines 18-25 El presumably appoints Yam as his chosen beloved (mdd.il) to drive Baal from his throne. yw is hardly likely to be a dialectical variant of Yam or a scribal mistake, since it doesn’t make sense for El to proclaim Yam his son as though this status were entirely new. Rather, the sense from context is that Yam’s status and relation to El has somehow changed and been upgraded, which is signified by the bestowal of the name YW to him. Therefore, I think it entirely plausible that YW should be related to Hebrew YHWH. First, YW is the spelling of YHWH that is distinctive to the Northern Kingdom and so associated with northern Palestine. Assuming that Tropper’s philological explanation of YHWH as a nominal form with a final –a vowel is correct, this would mean that YW represents yâwa, a shortened form of yahwa (pp. 8-9). Second, the reference to yw appears in a mythological context featuring Canaanite deities, which distinguishes it, for example, from the references to yhw3 in Egyptian texts. Third, YW is implied to be a name associated with divine sonship. As I discuss in my article “The Identity of the Standing Figures,” I think there is increasing evidence that YHWH’s profile during at least the early part of monarchic Israel-Judah was that of a son to El, the leading figure of his pantheon comparable to Baal Haddu or Athtar at Ugarit. But the precise meaning of the name YW in the context of the Baal Cycle is unclear. It seems to function more as a title of El’s beloved than a proper name, which would further help explain why YHWH is not otherwise attested in texts from the second millennium of the Levant.
YHWH’s original profile
Leuenberger argues that because YHWH’s profile as a kingly weather god in Psalms tradition necessarily developed during the monarchy, his earlier pre-state profile must have been somehow different. This claim is advanced to suggest that the depiction of YHWH in early psalms do not provide “conclusive evidence for YHWH’s pre-state period beginnings and origins, nor [does it] represent the exclusive or most important basis for reconstructing the oldest recognizable profile(s) of YHWH” (p. 167). But granting that YHWH’s profile likely developed from his roots in the Late Bronze-Iron I to Late Iron Age does not move us any step closer toward situating this process in anything other than a local Levantine milieu. Leuenberger provides no clear methodology for distinguishing a pre-state YHWH from a monarchic YHWH in biblical tradition other than the trope of a southern theophany, yet a southern mise en scene in itself is hardly a sufficient basis to support such a reconstruction, dearticulating these passages from the rest of biblical tradition. A distinct early divine profile must be identified from more than a geographical base of activity/point of departure, since people don’t embrace and offer continuous cult to a deity out of consideration for his place of origin but rather because of what he does for them at a practical real world level, how he functions to insure a beneficent and well ordered universe.
I think it doubtful on religio-historical grounds that the construction of Israel’s chief deity as a kingly weather god should be limited primarily to the monarchy. As the control and prediction of weather was a paramount need in the agriculture-based communities of the southern Levant, the linkage of primary local gods to weather phenomena must have occurred much earlier. I have elsewhere discussed how the ancient Canaanite myth of chaoskampf over water was closely tied to concepts of divine rulership. In addition, the assumption that YHWH’s profile during Iron II was sharply differentiated from Iron I exaggerates not only the state-like features of the early monarchies and their discontinuity from earlier chiefdoms but also their power to introduce new concepts into the cult in tension with local/regional/folk tradition. Lastly, Leuenberger fails to reckon with the probability I mentioned earlier that YHWH’s profile may have been divergent from biblical YHWH already during the monarchic period, meaning that not only do we lack information on YHWH’s pre-state background but the sources for YHWH’s profile during the monarchy need to be critically examined as well.
YHWH’s solitary character
According to Leuenberger, the earliest recognizable profile of YHWH is that of a solitary god who “functionally and typologically covers all the most important areas of life” (p. 167), which companionless nature is incompatible with the complex social structures of the Levant but fits well into the southern deserts of Sinai/Araba where state and city structures are absent. But in order to make the claim of YHWH being at root a solitary figure Leuengerger must pass over biblical and epigraphic evidence that argues against such a characterization, showing that in Iron Age tradition YHWH had once been fully integrated into a polytheistic pantheon of Canaanite derivation. These aspects are associated with the cult of El and thus judged by him to be secondary as a result of YHWH’s inculturation into the land (n. 33). This section of the paper is perhaps where it is most clear cut that the thesis of YHWH’s southern origin drives Leuenberger’s interpretation and organization of the data rather than the reverse. Features of YHWH’s profile that are indubitably ancient and homegrown Canaanite can always be interpreted as secondary if we go back far enough into the Late Bronze Age to a stage of development prior to the deity’s entry into the land. On the other hand, the monolatrous presentation of YHWH in the final form of the Bible, rather than evaluated as an ideological-literary construct reflecting late developments in Judean cult and theology, is taken to bear on the earliest discernible profile of YHWH. The prejudicial nature of this analysis is transparent.
Against Leuenberger, I think the signs of YHWH’s originally polytheistic and attached character are sizable and growing. Some of the most significant include:
- an association with a female consort across a wide geographic area in Israel, Judah, and Teman-Edom, which goddess is to be distinguished from Asherah (Thomas 2017);
- calf symbolization in biblical narrative as well as iconography (Thomas 2016), which not only supports an indigenous Canaanite derivation but a relational significance to bull El;
- a strong astral character, e.g. the title YHWH zebaoth “YHWH of the heavenly armies” and Jdgs 5:20: “the stars fought from heaven,” which connects YHWH to the astral pantheon of El (see also 2 Kgs 23:4);
- identification with Bes and Horus iconography (Thomas 2016), which is consistent with second tier status in the pantheon;
- biblical passages that hint at YHWH’s formerly subordinate status in the council of El (Ps 82:6; Deut 32:8);
- the inclusion of YHW in a familial pantheon at Elephantine.
I see no compelling reason to identify the above features as secondary accretions to YHWH’s original nature; they in fact reach back into and partly reflect Iron Age tradition, hinting at a polytheistic YHWH very different from the bachelor YHWH-Elohim announced and celebrated in the Bible. This earlier YHWH appears to have been youthful, warrior-like, subordinate to El, member of El and Asherah’s family, and spousally attached. At this point we simply do not have the sources to say much about YHWH during the Late Bronze Age.
Also, the assumption that tribal peoples in less complex and unsettled societies tend to monotheism and lack minimal pantheon constructs seems to be based more on armchair theorizing than hard data (e.g. Henninger 1981).
The references to the Shasu yhw3 in Egyptian texts play a central role in establishing an original provenance of YHWH from the south during the Late Bronze Age. However, while these texts are certainly interesting, the problems surrounding the interpretation of yhw3 in this context militate against using it as a basis for building an elaborate multi-chain theory about the origin of YHWH worship in Israel-Judah (Adrom and Müller, pp. 93-113). Not only is the pronunciation of the name unknown, but it seems to represent a territory or land rather than a divine name. To say that YHWH may have given his name to the territory or that the territory gave its name to the deity are ad hoc explanations that fail to persuade. The phenomenon of a deity and land sharing the same name is exceptional. Elsewhere in NWS the names of deities generally have a meaning peculiar and appropriate to the deity in question; lands and deities are sharply differentiated. In addition, the geographic location of yhw3 is still unclear. At present, it seems best to treat yhw3 as the name of a land whose relation to the divine name YHWH is uncertain.
YHWH of Teman
The title YHWH of Teman attested in inscriptions from Kuntillet ‘Ajrud shows that YHWH was certainly worshipped in the region of Edom. Based on the parallel expressions YHWH of Samaria and YHWH of Teman and material from the Bible indicating Teman was a specific region of Edom (Knauf 1992: 347-48; MacDonald 2000: 192-93), it seems likely that Samaria and Teman are used in the expressions to denote specific territories linked to regional forms of YHWH. YHWH of Teman is not a generalizing YHWH of the southland, as the generic sense of tmn would imply, but YHWH of Teman-Edom. The surprising implication therefore is that during the 9-8th centuries YHWH was worshipped not only in the north in Israel and Judah but also in Edom in the south. This situation provides further tentative support for the possibility mentioned earlier that the name YHWH originated as a kind of title that could be applied to multiple deities.
That being said, while this evidence demonstrates that YHWH had a home in Edom by the 9-8th century, it is not necessarily a positive indicator that this was his place of origin. It needs to be kept in mind that in the inscriptions we encounter YHWH of Samaria and YHWH of Teman as contemporaries. Considering that the worship of these YHWH manifestations co-occurred at Kuntillet ‘Ajrud, it is even possible that they were developed in tandem with one another around the beginning of the first millennium BCE by closely related groups. Some biblical scholars have noted that the Saulide regime as presented in the Bible has strong Edomite connections (e.g. Blenkinsopp 1972: 8-9, 23-27). In addition, at least at Kuntillet ‘Ajrud the direction of cultural influence seems to be from the north, Israel and beyond that Phoenicia. On the other hand, in the Bible Esau-Edom is portrayed as the older brother of Jacob, so it is possible that this hierarchy reflects the historical circumstance that Edomite groups may have settled within early Israel bringing a degree of cultural and religious influence in the opposite direction, i.e. south-north.
In the final analysis, the existence of a YHWH of Teman holds out the possibility that the cult of YHWH in Israel and Judah was influenced by early Edomite culture. The cults of each national grouping were fairly closely related, the use of the name YHWH for the dynastic god being a feature held in common. Yet if this was the case, it emphatically does not mean that YHWH in Israel was a wholesale import from Edom, as the personality behind Israelite YHWH is likely to have already had indigenous grounding. The apparent use of YW at Ugarit suggests that the title YHWH had broader currency in the Canaanite sphere and was not exclusive to Edom.
Biblical Theophany Texts
A few poetic passages in the Bible describe YHWH coming from Edom or Sinai with similar language and imagery (Jdgs 5:4-5; Deut 33:2; Ps 68:8-9; Hab 3:3-4). Following in the train of 20th century Albrightian-inspired scholarship that sought to validate the antiquity of biblical ideas and practices, Leuenberger assumes that the texts as a group preserve very early tradition about the origin of YHWH, reaching back even into premonarchic times! This is not the place for a full-scale literary critical examination of the above texts. Suffice it to say, I find neither the philological nor tradition-historical arguments for situating these poems in such an early period convincing. The motif of YHWH’s coming from the south is fully integrated into the larger literary contexts of the respective passages, which suggests that in each case they presume and give poetic expression to the canonical story of YHWH’s theophany at Sinai and subsequent accompaniment of his people Israel into the land of Canaan and conquest over it.
The description of YHWH marching from Seir and Edom in Jdgs 5:4 calls to mind the deity’s approach from the south with the armies of Israel, concentrating on the power and majesty of his divine presence as a contrast to the present weakness of the tribes. Deut 33:2 places Sinai, Seir, and Paran in parallel and therefore explicitly identifies Sinai with Seir-Edom; Moses and the giving of the torah are mentioned in v. 4. Using theophanic language nearly identical to Jdgs 5:4, Ps 68:8-9 omits reference to Edom/Seir but still speaks about Elohim marching before his army through the wilderness. From the wider context, it is clear that this march is Sinai oriented as well. The call for Elohim to rise up and scatter his enemies in vv. 2-3 is intertextually linked to the travels of the ark (Num 10:35-36). The title rkb bʿrbwt may be interpreted “rider in the deserts,” alluding to YHWH’s journeying through the wilderness from Sinai (Day 2002: 92-93). The psalm progresses through themes of Elohim delivering prisoners (v. 7), marching through the wilderness (v. 8), restoring his land and providing for his flock (vv. 10-11), leading his army to victory (vv. 12-15), journeying from Sinai to Mount Zion (vv. 16-18), and taking up his throne and enjoying praise from worshippers (vv. 19, 25-28). Hab 3:3-4 similarly evokes an exodus atmosphere, with references to Teman, Mount Paran, Midian, and Cushan and a mythologized account of the divine warrior’s battle with the Sea and deliverance of his people (cf. Ex 15).
Because Jdgs 5:5-4 and Deut 33:2 seem to presuppose the existence of a fairly developed exodus tradition, I see no compelling reason to date the composition of their substantial (current) form to a period significantly earlier than the surrounding literary contexts in which they appear. Poetic form is not by itself a reliable criteria for literary-critical analysis. Ancient Judean scribes were fully capable of writing in multiple genres, in this instance poetry as well as narrative, the former constructed to serve the interests of the latter. Older biblical scholarship often tended to dearticulate passages from their context and then to pristinize the content as retaining archaic tradition, often on a rather slim philological basis combined with speculative correlation of material with known historical events or political regimes. But this approach is increasingly recognized as methodologically dubious as applied to so-called early biblical poetry. The scribes who composed major biblical works were not archivists but interested authors, who included material only to the degree that it advanced their literary and ideological agenda. To the extent that older sources were incorporated, they were qualified and reshaped. Other material was written de novo. We must also assume that such literate professionals would have had the ability to mimic the style and to adopt aspects (e.g. syntax, terminology, etc.) of older poetry known to them. This would help explain why examples of “early” biblical poetry tend to combine both early and late features, and early features are not consistently employed.
Granting that the biblical theophany texts are a product of the interests of late authors, is it nevertheless possible that they were built on earlier tradition, whether literary or oral? In my view, the basic description of theophany and nature’s convulsion shared by Jdgs 5:4-5* and Ps 68:8-9* is a good candidate for an underlying literary source, since the group of parallel lines manifests a high literary quality and presents a cohesive thematic element that is introduced and then abruptly discontinued, as if it were a broken fragment–Jdgs 5:6 switches to an account of the state of affairs before Deborah and Ps 68:10 transmutes into praise for restoring the fertility of the land through abundant rain. The account of theophany is also highly reminiscent of the plaster wall inscription from Kuntillet ‘Ajrud (4.2) in which El’s appearance causes nature to convulse, as well as other biblical theophany texts (Ps 97:4; Mi 1:3-4; Hab 3:6-11). In all these latter cases the theophany and nature convulsion theme seems to prepare for divine judgement and war. But interestingly this element is lacking from Judgs 5 and Ps 68. Even more importantly, the theophany and nature convulsion theme tends to occur on a more exclusively mythological or cosmic plane, focusing on the deity’s divine retinue (KA 4.2; Ps 97:4; Hab 3:5) and lacking localizing information on the theophany’s geography (Mi 1:3-4; Hab 3:6). In this regard, we can note that in contrast to Jdgs 5 the version of theophany in Ps 68 lacks a specification of its geographical point of origin, and specifically any mention of Seir or Edom. Instead of “YHWH, when you went out from Seir, when you marched from the region of Edom” we have “Elohim, when you went out before your people, when you marched through the wilderness.” In my view, this variation excludes the possibility that Ps 68 was constructed in direct dependence on Jdgs 5, as argued by many. As we have seen, both passages have the march from Sinai in view, so there was no incentive to leave out a specifying reference to Seir/Edom. Rather, more plausible is that Jdgs 5 and Ps 68 are both dependent on a common theophany source that lacked any mention of Seir and Edom but was more mythological/cosmic in orientation. The source was adapted in different ways in each case, with references to “Seir” and “Edom” inserted on the one hand and “your people” and “wilderness” on the other. However, this is not to deny that Jdgs 5 influenced Ps 68 at some point in its composition-redactional history, as the precise parallels in vv. 9 and 14 suggest a process of scribal harmonization (cf. Pfeiffer 2001: 238-39), but only that Jdgs 5 was not the immediate source for its theophany.
Other than the basic theophany text in Jdgs 5:4-5* and Ps 68:8-9*, I find nothing to suggest a common tradition underlying the various theophany texts. The geographic localization feature is not integral to the tradition. In addition, differences in the geographic nomenclature used to describe YHWH’s theophany in the south can be ascribed to scribal creativity and the varying conditions in which they wrote. There is a complex web of interaction among the texts, which is explicable on a purely literary level. Although the history and course of interaction/influence can only be imperfectly and tentatively reconstructed, I assume that a form of Jdgs 5 preceded Deut 33, Ps 68 was composed around the time of Jdgs 5, before or after, and Hab 3 came last.
In sum, the biblical theophany texts are learned scribal constructions that postdate the development of a basic exodus tradition. They are of a late date and literary character and therefore cannot be used to support an early monarchic or premonarchic origin for the tradition of YHWH’s provenance from the south.
The early origins of the deity worshipped as YHWH in Israel-Judah have been obscured over time, and unfortunately this state of affairs has only been compounded by the biased ideological perspectives contained in the Bible. The dominant voices of the Bible (exodus and deuteronomistic) present YHWH as a deity non-autochthonous to Canaan in an effort to establish a Judean identity and cultic program separate from the beliefs and practices of native Canaanite/Israelite/Judahite communities. But this vision of YHWH as “other” should not be mistaken for historical reality, particularly by biblical scholars and historians of the ANE. Broad religio-historical considerations as well as specific evidence from biblical and extra-biblical sources suggest that YHWH originated within the land of ancient Palestine and was only differentiated from native deities and cult at a relatively late date.
[Note: I received a free review copy from the publisher]
Blenkinsopp, J. 1972. Gibeon and Israel: The Role of Gibeon and the Gibeonites in the Political and Religious History of Early Israel. New York: Cambridge University.
Henninger, J. 1981. Pre-Islamic Bedouin Religion. Pp. 3-22 in Studies in Islam, ed. M. L. Swartz. New York: Oxford University.
Knauf, E. A. 1992. Teman. Pp. 347-48 in The Anchor Bible Dictionary, ed. D. N. Freedman. Vol. 6. New York: Doubleday.
Leuenberger, M. 2015. Noch einmal: Jhwh aus dem Süden. Methodische und religionsgeschichtliche Überlegungen in der jüngsten Debatte. Pp. 267-287 in Gott und Geschichte, ed. M. Meyer-Blanck. Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt.
MacDonald, B. 2000. “East of the Jordan.” Territories and Sites of the Hebrew Scriptures. ASOR Books vol. 6. Boston: ASOR.
Na’aman, N. 1990. On Gods and Scribal Traditions in the Amarna Letters. Ugarit-Forschungen 22: 247-255.
Pfeiffer, H. 2001. Jahwes Kommen von Süden: Jdc 5, Hab 3, Dtn 33, und Ps 68 in ihrem literatur- und theologiegeschichtlichen Umfeld. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.
Smith, M. S. 2010. God in Translation: Deities in Cross-Cultural Discourse in the Biblical World. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.
Zevit, Z. 2001. The Religions of Ancient Israel: A Synthesis of Parallactic Approaches. New York: Continuum.